Economic evaluations can inform decision-making; however, previous publications have identified poor quality of economic evaluations in surgical specialties.
Study periods were from January 1, 2006, to April 20, 2020 (methodologic quality) and January 1, 2014, to April 20, 2020 (reporting quality). Primary outcomes were methodologic quality [Guidelines for Authors and Peer Reviewers of Economic Submissions to The BMJ (Drummond’s checklist), 33 points; Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES), 100 points; Consensus on Health Economic Criteria (CHEC), 19 points] and reporting quality (Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Standards (CHEERS) statement, 24 points).
Forty-seven hand economic evaluations were included. Partial economic analyses (i.e., cost analysis) were the most common (n = 34; 72 percent). Average scores of full economic evaluations (i.e., cost-utility analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis) were: Drummond’s checklist, 27.08 of 33 (82.05 percent); QHES, 79.76 of 100 (79.76 percent); CHEC, 15.54 of 19 (81.78 percent); and CHEERS, 20.25 of 24 (84.38 percent). Cost utility analyses had the highest methodologic and reporting quality scores: Drummond’s checklist, 28.89 of 35 (82.54 percent); QHES, 86.56 of 100 (86.56 percent); CHEC, 16.78 of 19 (88.30 percent); and CHEERS, 20.8 of 24 (86.67 percent). The association (multiple R) between CHEC and CHEERS was strongest: CHEC, 0.953; Drummond’s checklist, 0.907; and QHES, 0.909.
Partial economic evaluations in hand surgery are prevalent but not very useful. The Consensus on Health Economic Criteria and Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Standards should be used in tandem when undertaking and evaluating economic evaluation in hand surgery.